We are moving, ridding ourselves of many possessions that we've accumulated over the years, including the house we've lived in for a decade.
It is surreal to gather all of our belongings into one room, one duffel bag, one truck. To look into the back of a moving truck and see all of our worldly possessions...there are our books, packed away in boxes; there is our bed, wrapped in plastic; there are the lamps that sit by the bed, awkwardly resting on top so they don't break. It is a powerful reminder of how separate we are from the things we own, even though we often think of those things as inherent to our identity.
The yogis would say, quite simply, "possessions are not the self." It seems obvious when you say it like that. Of course my possessions are not who I am. But when my possessions are separated from their usual place in my life, I feel their pull acutely. Especially the house itself.
The house has given me a place to sleep, study, think, write, read, relax and play with our dogs. It has gradually become inextricable from the way I live and even the person I am. It may be inevitable, but as a yogi I see the danger there. And as we pack up our belongings and wave goodbye to the house, I feel the uncertainty within me: "who am I now?"
Of course, on the deepest levels I am no different than I was a day ago or a month ago or, depending on your beliefs, since the beginning of time. But my worldly, human life is undergoing a huge change. It is a challenge for me as a yogi, to navigate this with at least part of my mind on my unchanging, deepest, truest self even as my entire outer world transforms.
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Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
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